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Former Olympic Weightlifter Claims Female Athletes Told To "Be Quiet" About Laurel Hubbard Transgender Issue At Tokyo Games

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Former Olympic Weightlifter Claims Female Athletes Told To "Be Quiet" About Laurel Hubbard Transgender Issue At Tokyo Games

Former Olympic weightlifter Tracey Lambrechs claims female athletes are being told to "be quiet" when they complain about the fairness of Laurel Hubbard competing in women's competitions.

New Zealander Hubbard is on track to become the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics after the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) modified qualifying requirements for the Tokyo Games.

The 43-year-old competed in men's weightlifting competitions before transitioning in 2013.

Laurel Hubbard. Credit: Inside The Games
Laurel Hubbard. Credit: Inside The Games
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But Lambrechs, who won a bronze medal for New Zealand at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, told TVNZ: "I'm quite disappointed for the female athlete who will lose out on that spot.

"We're all about equality for women in sport but right now that equality is being taken away from us.

"I've had female weightlifters come up to me and say, 'what do we do? This isn't fair, what do we do?' Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do because every time we voice it we get told to be quiet."

The International Olympic Committee issued guidelines in 2015 allowing any transgender athlete to compete as a woman provided their testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months before their first competition.

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Hubbard is yet to be selected for the Tokyo Games. But the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) said Hubbard was "very likely" to be "allocated a quota spot."


Laurel Hubbard. Credit: Twitter
Laurel Hubbard. Credit: Twitter

Selection in June would then be based on further criteria including "evidence of capability to finish in the top 16 at the Games, with the potential to achieve a top-eight placing."

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The rescheduled Tokyo Olympics are due to start on 23rd July.

Super-heavyweight Hubbard earned silver at the 2017 World Championships, several years after her transition, and now has a world ranking of 17.

Australia's weightlifting federation complained about Hubbard's participation at the 2018 Commonwealth Games where she eventually had to pull out because of an elbow injury.

Topics: Weightlifting, olympics, transgender

Thomas Harvey
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